JOBS, price control and addressing corruption are among the issues that the public wants President Benigno Aquino to address in his first six months in office, the latest Pulse Asia survey showed.

Of the 1,200 respondents nationwide, 36 percent wants the provisions of employment to be the prioritized by the Aquino government, according to the July 1 to 11 survey.

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Inflation and the controlling of prices of basic commodities and gasoline is the second highest concern of the Filipinos (22 percent).

Jobs is also the main concern of the “masa” or those that belong to Class D (38 percent) and the “poor” or Class E sector (35 percent), while the “elite” or those that belonged to the Class ABC wants employment, reduction of price of basic commodities and gasoline, and solving corruption (22 percent each) prioritized.

About 13 percent wants Aquino to prioritize the fight against corruption followed by the improvement of access to education (6), the increasing of salaries (4), the development of the agricultural sector (3), the securing of peace (2), and provision of housing, and livelihood (2).

The other issues raised were for Aquino to prioritize is the improvement of infrastructure; the reduction of poverty or provision of assistance to the poor; ensuring justice for all; the fight against criminality; the increasing of investments in the country; ensuring senior citizens welfare; improving the government’s fiscal position; improving access to health services and lowering the cost of medicine; reducing the cost and improvement of access to utilities; and the rationalization of the bureaucracy.

The poll was conducted at the time Aquino has already assumed office and started appointing officials to key positions in government.

It was also conducted at the time when the Aquino administration revealed that more than half of the national budget has already been used up, and the prices of oil, electricity, cement, and sugar had started to go up.

Of the respondents, 85 percent said they expect Aquino to give importance to the controlling of the increasing prices of commodities as against the 0.3 percent that believes that it would not be as important to the present administration.

Seventy-five percent believes Aquino would consider it very important to craft new pro-poor programs including those on education, health and housing as against the 0.1 percent that said it would not be important at all.

Seventy-three of the respondents also believe that stimulating the economy to create more jobs is very important as against the 0.1 percent that believes otherwise; while 59 percent believes preparing a program to address the fiscal and debt problems of the country would be very important as against the 0.4 percent that believes otherwise.

Forty-nine percent said the provision of loans for small businesses and self-employed would be very important while 1percent believes otherwise; while 56 percent expects Aquino to give importance in the continuing of the peace negotiations as against the 0.4 percent that believes it is not important at all;

Sixty-percent said it is very important to appoint officials with skills, experience and integrity to key government positions while 0.4 percent believes otherwise; while 54 percent believes forging a government of national unity to reduce political hostility is very important as against 0.4 percent that believes otherwise.

The Pulse Survey also showed that 85 percent of the Filipinos fully trust Aquino, which the survey company said is the “highest trust rating ever recorded by any individual included in Pulse Asia’s trust probes since 1999”.

Of the 1,200 respondents, only 2 percent distrusts Aquino while 13 percent are still unable to say if they trust or distrust him.

Aquino’s trust rating is 18 percentage points higher than his rating in April t (67 percent), while distrust ratings decline by 9 percentage points from 11 percent in Aril to 2 percent in July.

The President enjoys basically the same trust ratings across the country’s geographic areas - with the highest in the Visayas (83), followed by Mindanao and Luzon (84) and Metro Manila (83) - and the socio-economic groupings with the highest trust rating from the poor sector (Class E, 88), followed by the elite (Class ABC, 86) and the masa (Class D, 84).

Aquino’s cabinet appointees are also well-received by the public with the respondents “aware” of Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Jesus Versoza (87); and Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman (82).

The public is also “aware” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Budget and Management Secretary Florencio Abad (73 percent each); Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Ricardo David (69) Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima (65), Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa (63), Education Secretary Brother Armin Luistro (62), and defense Secretary Gazmin and Presidential Adviser Teresita Deles (57 percent each).

Seventy percent of the respondents also approved of Soliman’s appointment, De Lima (69); Romulo (67); Versoza (67); David (64); Abad (62); Luistro (58); Purisima (55); Ochoa (55); Deles (51), Gazmin (50).(JMR/Sunnex)